March 28, 2017
Egg industry and National Farm Animal Care Council condemn countless laying hens to cages for foreseeable future
Humane Society International/Canada decries failure to respond to consumer demand
The National Farm Animal Care Council’s new egg industry Code of Practice fails to end the use of all cage confinement for laying hens. With this omission, the council is flouting years of consistent corporate commitments to source 100 percent cage-free eggs in company supply chains, says Humane Society International/Canada.
Gabriel Wildgen, campaign manager for HSI/Canada, stated: “The National Farm Animal Care Council has failed Canadian consumers and retailers by ignoring the demand for an end to all cage systems, which condemn laying hens to a life of misery. Intensive confinement of any animals has no place in the 21st century. We are shocked that the egg industry is so indifferent to consumer demand. While enriched cages represent a small improvement in welfare, the egg industry has missed a golden opportunity to respond to the rapidly growing market for more humane products.”
The majority of egg-laying hens in Canada spend their entire lives confined in cramped, wire cages, known as battery cages, which are so small that the hens aren’t able to fully stretch their wings. Cage-free environments offer hens the chance to engage in many of their natural behaviours, including walking freely, perching, spreading their wings and laying their eggs in a nest.
The Code of Practice for laying hens would allow for continued use of battery cages up until 2036 and the indefinite use of “enriched” cage systems that offer hens little more space than a standard battery cage. This proposal flies in the face of commitments to exclusively source eggs from cage-free systems from Canada’s largest food companies. The list of retailers that have pledged to source 100 percent cage-free eggs by or before 2025 includes Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro, Tim Hortons, A&W, McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King, Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s and many more.
Media Contact: Christopher Paré: 514 395-2914 x 206, firstname.lastname@example.org